Equal Pay for Equal Work


(photo credit: Peter Allen)

Pictured left to right: NWPC-SV board member Ellen Kamei, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA 1st Congressional District), NWPC-SV board members Ann Grabowski, Colleen Haley, and Angelica Ramos.

National Women’s Political Caucus of Silicon Valley announces partnership with San José Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce to Support Equal Pay

Local chapter of national organization hopes to improve the status of women and girls by creating a space to celebrate preferred female-friendly businesses.

SAN JOSÉ, CA -- The National Women’s Political Caucus of Silicon Valley (NWPC-SV) and The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce (SJ Chamber) have joined forces to launch a voluntary, employer-led, solutions-based gender equity pledge, #EqualPayForEqualWork.

On Monday, SJ Chamber CEO Mat Mahood announced that his organization will publicly support equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender or ethnicity and encourage its members to sign a pledge to do the same. The announcement was made during the Chamber’s Access DC program featuring U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) at Kaiser Permanente in San José. DelBene commended the Chamber on implementing the pledge.

Once declared the “Feminist Capital of the World,” the San José/Silicon Valley metropolitan area has a longtime history of leading the way in opportunity and innovation. Birthplace to some of the most forward-thinking and recognizable companies in the nation, the region is an incubator for cutting-edge innovation and technology.

It has been widely reported that women across the nation experience a gender pay gap. But in Santa Clara County, the difference is pronounced and profound, with women making 72 cents to a man’s dollar for the same work.  Women with advanced degrees earn approximately $40,000 less than their male counterparts. Meanwhile, 11 percent of the County’s female population lives in poverty, and women and girls represent nearly one third of our homeless population.

“Even as we are held up as model for the rest of the country in technology and social ideology, we face a serious challenge within our labor force — one that conflicts with our historically significant values of inclusion and fairness,” said NWPC Silicon Valley President Angelica Ramos. “Recognizing the value of women in the workplace is just good business.”

The pledge, found here, encourages businesses to be proactive in addressing and monitoring gender-based salary differences. Signatories to the pledge will be awarded a digital badge for their business’ website. NWPC-SV will also promote the businesses who pledge support as “preferred female-friendly businesses”.

NWPC-SV has set a goal of collecting 100 pledges in the first six months of #EqualPayForEqualWork. Eventually, the program would provide a space for companies to report significant, measurable benefits as seen through semi-annual surveys and their own internal wage and demographic data collection.

Recently, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a Gender and Ethnicity Pay Equity Referral to create an equal-pay policy and ordinance that would apply to both the County and agencies with which the County contracts. The joint announcement by NWPC-SV and the SJ Chamber was soon followed by news that California Governor Jerry Brown signed bipartisan legislation on equal pay.